Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Cleaner

I am pretty lucky in that I have a cleaner. She is a sit com in herself. Small, in her thirties, quite trendy and Turkish. I know this as she informs me constantly about how she misses her 'Turkey family and friends' but that she is pleased not to live there as being a woman in Turkey is 'no as much fun as being woman in England'. Which I am sure is very true.

However, today I decided to cancel the cleaner - just for this week as we are piled high in boxes and there really is little point in cleaning when the packers arrive on Thursday and we move out on Friday - better to clean after everyone has left. Or at least that's what I thought.

How wrong was I?

'No, Mister,' she told me quite firmly over the phone, ' I no allow you to move out and leave dirty house, better you make clean house and then it is more nice for the new family.'' "Yes," I replied "but we can clean after the move - we don't hand the keys over for a week." "No, we clean today, I am booked today, so I clean today." She paused..., " Have you cleaned oven yet?" "Erm, no... not yet, no..." "Right then," she said, "You get oven cleaner and spray it on in morning and then when I come in afternoon I will finish oven off for you and make it clean."

I decided I needed to show her who was boss.

"Look," I said, "you really can't come today, I have a horrid cold and I don't want to give it to you." There was a pause on the line. "Horrid cold? All my families this week are having cold - I do not catch the cold and I still clean... I see you at usual time... now go clean oven." and with that she hung up. I duly went to clean the oven...

She arrived and headed straight for the oven - after I had made her a cup of tea and a biscuit of course. "This oven cleaner is no good," She told me, "Why you don't use Mr Muscle like I tell you?" "Well, the lady in Lakeland recommended this one." I replied. This remark was met with that ancient female sign of disgust, the sucking of the teeth. She sucked, "Lakeland," she spat the store's name out, "What do they know? You see who makes this product she 'recommend'... yes, Lakeland make it.. they make it and they recommend it and they sell it to people who don't know what to buy. I tell you get Mr Muscle, next time you get Mr Muscle - is cheaper and better."

She then looked at my handiwork in the oven - the product is a brush on gel that boasts no after smell or scrubbing. She put her head inside the oven to get a good look. "This is not working," she said and she started scraping the floor of the oven with my teaspoon, "See is not coming off and you no put enough gel on, give..." I meekly handed her the Lakeland gel product - which I had followed all the instructions for, carefully applying it with the little applicator brush, whilst wearing protective goggles and gloves. She simply grabs the bottle and squirts it all over... 'I was shocked, "Watch out," I cried, "It could burn you!"

She looked at me scornfully, "Dont be silly, I use oven cleaner all the time... I cannot burn like this, I am used to it, see." and with that she squirted the entire bottle of gel into the oven even though the box claims there is enough gel to clean three ovens to a sparkle. "Now, I will go and bleach bathroom and come back and finish this off later."

As I write she is humming along to her loud europop radio station and squirting bleach around the bathroom. I am sitting in the living room quietly as I dont want to disturb her too much. She scares me...

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